Deborah Cocks. I discovered Montessori while studying at Christchurch Teachers College, where I learned the history of Maria Montessori and her educational philosophy. I was then very fortunate to complete a four-week teaching practice placement at Airdhmor Montessori Preschool. The Centre’s peaceful atmosphere and the ability the teachers had to foster child-centred learning amongst the children impressed me.
This led to my decision to train as a Montessori teacher through the Aperfield trust and for the past three years I have been teaching at the Courtyard Montessori Preschool.
I gained a Bachelor of Learning in Early Childhood in 2008 and the Aperfield Montessori Diploma in 2012. I have recently studied towards the Certificate in Infant and Toddler Mental Health through Rangi Ruru Early Childhood College.
I am fifty years of age, and have four children, three boys all in their twenties and one girl aged fourteen. I have always lived in Christchurch and have been married to my husband David for thirty years.

NatalieNatalie Collins is a mother of 2 children who have had wonderful times at Montessori schools in Christchurch (foundation and Primary). She gained her Montessori Diploma at the London Montessori Centre in 1994, and then, after returning to New Zealand, went on to study for a Bachelor of Teaching and Learning. In 2011 Natalie studied Infant and Toddler Mental Health through Rangi Ruru Early Childhood College and is a keen advocate for creating environments which enhance emotional well being in children.
Natalie is a tutor for our directed distance learning courses in Christchurch and a distance tutor.

SuzanneSuzanne Drury-Turnbull Diploma of Teaching ECE; Aperfield Montessori Diploma in ECE. Previously Supervisor of Montessori Horizons Preschool Riwaka,
Suzanne has over 30 years of experience in working with children from birth until 6 years.
She has worked in Maternity hospitals and the Neonatal unit at Christchurch Women’s Hospital and Montessori preschools both privately owned and community run.
Suzanne has worked in a primary school setting in a resource room run for children requiring learning support and as a SPELD teacher working with children with learning difficulties.
Currently supervisor at Rainbow Preschool and Nursery.
Suzanne has tutored our directed distance learning Introductory Book 1, and Book 2 courses in Christchurch.


Dale Evenden supported Binda Goldsbrough’s work in establishing the first Montessori Preschool in Christchurch. She holds a Kindergarten Teaching Diploma and her full teacher’s registration. Dale has worked in Kindergarten’s and has upgraded to the Higher Diploma of Teaching. Her interest in Montessori has continued and she completed the Aperfield Montessori Diploma. She is a mother of two daughter’s and is a proud grandmother to her grandson. Dale is assistant tutor for the Directed distance learning courses in Christchurch and a distance tutor.

DiDi Fenwick is one of the founding members of the Aperfield Montesssori Trust and was one of our first AST tutors at the Christchurch College of Education. Di was a teacher at the old Courtyard Montessori preschool in the early 1990′s before she and her family moved to Beijing, China. There Di trained as an English as a Second Language teacher and spent five years teaching at the International School in Beijing. Returning to New Zealand in 2001 Di has continued to work in the ESOL area. In 2007 Di completed the National Certificate in Adult Education and Training. She has renewed her interests in Montessori by becoming an Aperfield Trust Board member again and a Distance Learning tutor and examiner for both the practical and written examinations.

SolaSola Freeman is mother of twin boys Fiann and Cared, daughter Nea and daughter Cashel. She has a BA (majors – History and Education), Montessori Diploma (LMC), NZ Diploma of Teaching (Primary), and has taught mainly in Montessori early childhood centres, most recently as Principal. She is a past-president of the Montessori Association of New Zealand and was a member of the Early Childhood Strategic Plan Working Group. Sola completed her thesis for a Masters in Education ; a policy analysis of the impact of the ECE qualification on Montessori in NZ, in 2008. Sola’s interest is mainly in the area of parenting in a Montessori way – she writes regular articles and holds workshops for parents around New Zealand. Sola is Board Chair of Wa Ora Montessori School, where Fiann, Cared , Nea and Cashel attend and is thrilled they will now be able to continue their Montessori education into secondary school at Wa Ora.

DeborahDeborah Gath Bachelor of Teaching & Learning (Christchurch College of Education)
Tutor & examiner Aperfield Montessori Diploma (Christchurch)
Diploma of Teaching Early Childhood Education
Registered Teacher
Aperfield Montessori Diploma ECE
Certifcate of Childcare & Registered Nurse (Psychopaedic)
Trustee of the Aperfield Trust

Michela HomerMichela Homer I trained at the Maria Montessori Training Organisation in London and achieved my A.M.I diploma in the early 1990′s. My family emigrated to New Zealand six years ago and since then I have gained my Bachelor of Education. I currently work as the Professional Services Manager for Kidicorp -Bay of Plenty. As a past extramural student myself, I understand how important it is to have a strong network of people to help and support you through your studies. I know that extramural students need to be dedicated, organized and motivated and I am excited to help students to gain their Aperfield Diploma. I am married with two school aged children, three cats and a dog which keep me very busy! I love being in a Montessori early childhood centre and seeing children grow and develop into competent, independent caring contributors to their community.

ElaineTeresa Huggins I discovered Montessori while living in London, trained at London Montessori Centre finishing in 1999. After returning to NZ I went on to do my BEd with AUT completing it in 2006. I have been working with children for 25 years, the last 13 at Montessori Children’s House in Wellington. I am now spending time walking my two dogs, helping to run my husband’s business and a bit of relief teaching.

ElaineElaine Low trained as a Primary Teacher over 20 years ago. She completed her Early Childhood Training and operated a centre in Akaroa for 5 years – the ‘Ngaio Akaroa Preschool’. When numbers dropped she closed the centre and opened Airdmhor Montessori in Christchurch. She has completed her early Childhood Diploma and the M.W.E.I Montessori Primary Diploma. Elaine completed the papers for her Bachelor of Teaching and Learning degree. Elaine is a practical and written examiner also a trustee of the Aperfield Trust.

Toni McKenzieToni McKenzie. I trained as an Early Childhood Teacher at Rangi Ruru Early Childhood College and achieved my Diploma in Early Childhood Education. I began teaching in an Early Childhood Centre in 2000 and went on to do my Bachelor of Teaching and Learning by correspondence through Christchurch College of Education. I am also a registered teacher. I always had a strong interest in Montessori Education and began teaching in a Montessori Centre and with the support and help of the Aperfield Montessori Trust I was able to complete the Montessori Diploma. I worked in Montessori Education for four years before starting my own family. I am a mother of three boys and enjoy spending time with them at home incorporating some aspects of Montessori education into our home environment. I am very passionate about the Montessori philosophy and enjoy sharing my knowledge and skills that I have acquired with other students.

CamCam Mountsier-Cole was first introduced to Montessori Education while studying at a university in DesMoines, Iowa USA in 1979. She loved the geography area and decided from that moment on to train as a Montessori Teacher. She attended the Montessori Education Centre Association- Seton in Chicago, Illinois and received her diploma in 1982. She has been involved with Montessori Education since then. In 1991 Cam came to New Zealand to teach in Palmerston North and then 16 years ago she and her husband opened their own school in Miramar, Wellington. Cam recently sold her school in Wellington and she and her 2 teenage children have moved back to the States.  Cam is now a member of the Oregon Montessori Association board and has recently purchased a Montessori Infant/Toddler programme in Portland, Oregon.

ShubahShubha Narayan Bachelor of Teaching & Learning ECE
Tutor & Examiner for Aperfield Montessori Diploma and distance tutor
Diploma (AMI) Montessori 3-6
Diploma Montessori 6-9
Degree in Psychology, English and Journalism
Co-Head of Nova Montessori School

TrishTrish Thompson is strongly influenced by a Montessori background as her mother was a Montessori Teacher and she had a school in her home for over twenty years. Her sister is also a Montessori Teacher. Trish holds a Bachelor of Teaching Early Childhood Diploma and is a fully registered teacher. She studied for the Aperfield Montessori Diploma in 2006. She came back to Montessori later in her early childhood career because it was not available when she first emigrated to New Zealand. Trish has taught in a Montessori Pre-School for nearly ten years, and her vision is to develop a Montessori school in her locality. She thoroughly enjoys sharing Montessori knowledge and offering support to developing teachers.

Joanne Wilsher
Diploma of E.C.E. College of Education, Dunedin
Diploma of Montessori 0-6 years London
Distance tutor for Aperfield Montessori Trust for approximately 20 years
Workshop tutor for Aperfield Montessori Trust
Directress/owner preschool Dunedin

CathyCathy Wilsonhas been teaching in Montessori schools for 17 years. The past 14 years have been at Wa Ora Montessori School, where she is the Assistant Principal of the preschool which has a playgroup and three 3 – 6 year classes. During her time teaching she has completed a B.Ed in early childhood, a  NZ Aperfield Montessori Teaching Diploma and, in 2010 she completed an Association Montessori Internationale (AMI)Teaching Diploma in Thailand. In 2010 Cathy was fortunate also to be part of the Working Party for the Early Childhood Council (ECC) reviewing of ‘The Blue Book’ for registration purposes, presenting a workshop on it both in 2011 and 2012 at the ECC conference. In 2011 she ran two workshops for Montessori Aotearoa New Zealand (MANZ) with a co-worker on ‘Motives of Activity’. Tutoring for Aperfield allows her to assist others in their learning of Montessori about which she is exceedingly passionate.

Lynda WilsonLynda Wilson. I discovered Montessori while doing my O.E. in Europe. I undertook my Montessori training at the London Montessori Centre (now M.C.I.) in the early 1990’s and went on to work in a variety of Montessori and non-Montessori centre’s in England and in Luxembourg. Returning to New Zealand I worked at Waikanae Montessori Preschool and studied at Victoria University for my Degree in Early Childhood Education then started towards a Master’s Degree with a Postgraduate Certificate in Education and Professional Development. I just love working in Montessori environments and enjoy sharing this passion with others by offering professional development to local Montessori centres. I  now live in Dunedin with my crazy cat Bella and old frail rabbit Sweep and travel when I get the chance.